Supporting Pregnant and Parenting People

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Supporting Pregnant and Parenting People

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Paid Family and Medical Leave

The vast majority of working people in the United States do not have paid family leave through their jobs. In Louisiana, even unpaid leave under the federal
Family and Medical Leave Act is inaccessible for 65 percent of working people. This means Louisianians face impossible choices when new children are
born or adopted and when serious personal or family health needs inevitably arise. 

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (or as its commonly known – the FMLA) established a federal system for leave under certain circumstances for eligible employees who worked for covered employers.  FMLA leave is unpaid leave, but employees can elect, or employers can require, that certain periods of paid leave be substituted for unpaid FMLA leave.

Louisianians need a real policy solution to address the country’s paid leave crisis. Paid leave means people – especially women – aren’t forced to leave
the labor force to care for their families or health, reducing turnover for employers and boosting the economy.

The Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, The FAMILY Act  is the only federal proposal that would:

  • Be cost-effective for workers, employers and the government;
  • Cover all working people, apply equally to men and women and reflect a modern definition of family;
  • Include the well-established reasons people need family and medical leave;
  • Provide at least 12 weeks of leave and replace a substantial share of workers’ usual wages; and
  • Protect workers against adverse consequences for taking leave.

Find out more

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

Despite existing protections, pregnant workers in the United States still face workplace discrimination – in all industries, across race and ethnicity, and in every state. Too often, pregnant workers are forced out of their jobs and denied small accommodations – such as sitting instead of standing or carrying a water bottle – that would enable them to continue working and supporting their families. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would help end this form of pregnancy discrimination, promote healthy pregnancies and protect the economic security of pregnant women and their families. 

Incarcerated Women Who Are Pregnant or Have Children

The United States has the world’s highest incarceration rate with 724 people per 100,000. Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the US, earning the title of ‘The World’s Prison Capital.’

Historically, correctional institutions have been disproportionately populated by male inmates. Correctional policies and procedures have been designed to ensure safety and security in a predominately male setting. However, over the past few years there has been a growing amount of women and girls in prison populations. There are about 2,044 women incarcerated in Louisiana. An estimated 5% of women coming into prisons and jails are pregnant and will likely deliver in prison. Additionally, there are an estimated 94,000 children in Louisiana who have experienced having a parent serve jail time.